Local film distributor celebrates 10 years of successful art movies

f you’re not entirely satisfied with this week’s crop of films, Rosebud film distributors is offering an alternative choice as it celebrates its first decade in the local market. In an original cinephile celebration which began last Friday at the Asty cinema, Rosebud is screening 43 films spanning its 10 years of film distribution. Right from the start, Rosebud was associated with high-quality cinema in an attempt to reach higher ground and turn «art» films into commercial hits. In other words, to get rid of the long-established notion of poor, off-putting features, ultimately condemned at the box office. Essentially, Rosebud is one man, Zinos Panayiotidis, and we asked him to think back to the very beginning with the company’s first film to hit local screens, Quentin Tarantino’s «Reservoir Dogs.» «In this country, interest in the so-called art film genre was minimal back in 1993. Big companies were buying some films, but that was about it. We were the first ones out there,» said Panayiotidis. Not bad, considering that almost all of Rosebud’s choices in the first year were successful. «That was the first and the last time we bought films that we had actually seen,» said Panayiotidis. Due to rising competition, that is not the case anymore. «Nowadays we buy films based on the director’s name, as well as our instincts. We have to keep up with the rest,» said Panayiotidis. It is this kind of hastiness which resulted in Rosebud’s first box-office flops, such as Bernardo Bertolucci’s «Stealing Beauty» or Mike Newell’s «An Awfully Bid Adventure» – the very opposite of hits such as Danny Boyle’s «Trainspotting» or Pedro Almodovar’s «Todo Sobre Mi Madre.» «Prices have skyrocketed,» noted Panayiotidis. «These days, Greece buys films at much higher prices than other countries and we are obliged to purchase, in advance, films we know nothing about – just the director’s name!» Asty, 4 Korai, tel 210.322.1925. To May 25.